Tutorials

Create A Dead Simple Twitter Feed with jQuery + PHP + OAuth (Updated)

Written by Kevin Liew on 12 Apr 2016
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136 comments

In this tutorial, we will be creating a jQuery script that retrieve twitter tweets from user account. It's quick and easy, come with link, hash tag, alias parser as well as time posted (calculated relatively). Most importantly, everything has a class and will be flexible to style and match your design!

This is an old post that I created long time ago, but it hasn't been updated ever since Twitter moved on from the old API. Now I decided to spend some time to fine tune it and added a layer of PHP with OAuth authentication to retrieve tweets. I also added the capability to display media for the tweet.

To retrieve tweets from user timeline, we will be using statuses/user_timeline public API from Twitter. To make the OAuth authentication painless, we're using this third party PHP-Twitter API wrapper caled Twitter for PHP.

You will need to sign in to the Twitter and register an application from the Twitter App page to get teh required consumer keys and access tokens. Remember to never reveal your consumer secrets. Click on My Access Token link from the sidebar and retrieve your own access token. Now you have consumer key, consumer secret, access token and access token secret.

We will use links/hashtag/alias script to format Tweet's hashtag, aliases. This is the screenshot of text and image tweets:

HTML

We need a simple HTML layout, linked with jQuery framework and twitter script. Also, a div with id called "jstwitter" - we will be appending all tweets from twitter server, processed it and chuck it inside.

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd">
<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xml:lang="en">
<head>
	<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html;charset=UTF-8" />
	<title></title>
	<script src="http://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.6.1/jquery.min.js" type="text/javascript"></script>
	<script src="twitter.js"></script>
</head>
<body>
	
	<div id="jstwitter">
	</div>
	
</body>
</html>

CSS

We made a quick and clean layout. However, you can style the following elements:

  • .twtr-hashtag: #abc
  • .twtr-hyperlink: hyperlink
  • .twtr-atreply: #abc
  • .time: relative time (10 minutes ago)
body {
  background:#bae0f6;
  font-size:14px;
  font-family: 'Helvetica', arial, sans-serif;
}

* {
  -webkit-box-sizing:border-box;
  -moz-box-sizing:border-box;
  box-sizing:border-box;
}

#jstwitter {
	width: 300px;
	font-size: 15px;
	color: #333333;
  margin: 0 auto;
  text-align:center;
}

#jstwitter .tweet {
	margin: 0 auto 15px auto;
	padding: 15px;
	border-radius:3px;
  background:#ffffff;
  text-align:left;
  box-shadow: 0 0 2px 1px rgba(0,0,0,0.1);
}

#jstwitter .tweet a {
	text-decoration: none;
	color: #13c9d0;
}

#jstwitter .tweet a:hover {
	text-decoration: underline;
}

#jstwitter img {
  display:block;
  margin-bottom:5px;
  max-width:100%;
}

#jstwitter .tweet .time {
	font-size: 10px;
	font-style: italic;
	color: #666666;
  display:block;
  margin-top:3px;
}

Javascript

Alright, javascript. We will divide it into 3 sections:

  • loadTweets: This is how we retrieve tweets. We use AJAX to call a PHP Twitter API wrapper which will return data in JSON format. This function retrieves and processes it.
  • timeAgo: Relative calculator from twitter.
  • ify: Convert twitter hashtag, alias, and links into hyperlinks.
JQTWEET = {
	
	// Set twitter username, number of tweets & id/class to append tweets
	user: 'quenesswebblog',
	numTweets: 5,
	appendTo: '#jstwitter',

	// core function of jqtweet
	loadTweets: function() {
		$.ajax({
			url: 'tweets.php',
			type: 'post',
			dataType: 'json',
			data: {
				q: JQTWEET.user,
				count: JQTWEET.numTweets,
        api: 'statuses/user_timeline'
			},
			success: function(data, textStatus, xhr) {

        var html = '<div class="tweet">TWEET_IMGTWEET_TEXT<div class="time">AGO</div>';

				// append tweets into page
				for (var i = 0; i < data.length; i++) {
          
					$(JQTWEET.appendTo).append(
						html.replace('TWEET_TEXT', JQTWEET.ify.clean(data[i].text))
							.replace(/USER/g, data[i].user.screen_name)
							.replace('AGO', JQTWEET.timeAgo(data[i].created_at))
							.replace(/ID/g, data[i].id_str)
              .replace('TWEET_IMG', (data[i].entities.media && data[i].entities.media.length ? '<img src="' + data[i].entities.media[0].media_url + '"/>': ''))
					);

				}					
			}	

		});
		
	}, 
	
		
	/**
      * relative time calculator FROM TWITTER
      * @param {string} twitter date string returned from Twitter API
      * @return {string} relative time like "2 minutes ago"
      */
    timeAgo: function(dateString) {
		var rightNow = new Date();
		var then = new Date(dateString);
		
		if ($.browser.msie) {
			// IE can't parse these crazy Ruby dates
			then = Date.parse(dateString.replace(/( \+)/, ' UTC$1'));
		}

		var diff = rightNow - then;

		var second = 1000,
		minute = second * 60,
		hour = minute * 60,
		day = hour * 24,
		week = day * 7;

		if (isNaN(diff) || diff < 0) {
			return ""; // return blank string if unknown
		}

		if (diff < second * 2) {
			// within 2 seconds
			return "right now";
		}

		if (diff < minute) {
			return Math.floor(diff / second) + " seconds ago";
		}

		if (diff < minute * 2) {
			return "about 1 minute ago";
		}

		if (diff < hour) {
			return Math.floor(diff / minute) + " minutes ago";
		}

		if (diff < hour * 2) {
			return "about 1 hour ago";
		}

		if (diff < day) {
			return  Math.floor(diff / hour) + " hours ago";
		}

		if (diff > day && diff < day * 2) {
			return "yesterday";
		}

		if (diff < day * 365) {
			return Math.floor(diff / day) + " days ago";
		}

		else {
			return "over a year ago";
		}
	}, // timeAgo()
    
	
    /**
      * The Twitalinkahashifyer!
      * http://www.dustindiaz.com/basement/ify.html
      * Eg:
      * ify.clean('your tweet text');
      */
    ify:  {
      link: function(tweet) {
        return tweet.replace(/\b(((https*\:\/\/)|www\.)[^\"\']+?)(([!?,.\)]+)?(\s|$))/g, function(link, m1, m2, m3, m4) {
          var http = m2.match(/w/) ? 'http://' : '';
          return '<a class="twtr-hyperlink" target="_blank" href="' + http + m1 + '">' + ((m1.length > 25) ? m1.substr(0, 24) + '...' : m1) + '</a>' + m4;
        });
      },

      at: function(tweet) {
        return tweet.replace(/\B[@@]([a-zA-Z0-9_]{1,20})/g, function(m, username) {
          return '<a target="_blank" class="twtr-atreply" href="http://twitter.com/intent/user?screen_name=' + username + '">@' + username + '</a>';
        });
      },

      list: function(tweet) {
        return tweet.replace(/\B[@@]([a-zA-Z0-9_]{1,20}\/\w+)/g, function(m, userlist) {
          return '<a target="_blank" class="twtr-atreply" href="http://twitter.com/' + userlist + '">@' + userlist + '</a>';
        });
      },

      hash: function(tweet) {
        return tweet.replace(/(^|\s+)#(\w+)/gi, function(m, before, hash) {
          return before + '<a target="_blank" class="twtr-hashtag" href="http://twitter.com/search?q=%23' + hash + '">#' + hash + '</a>';
        });
      },

      clean: function(tweet) {
        return this.hash(this.at(this.list(this.link(tweet))));
      }
    } // ify

	
};



$(document).ready(function () {
    // start jqtweet!
    JQTWEET.loadTweets();
});

PHP

Ever since Twitter moved on from REST 1.0, the most secure implementation if using server-side language because you need to specify consumer key, consumer secret key and access tokens. You need to be authenticated in order to access the API too. Thankfully, there's a lot of PHP library available to make this simple.

We're going to use Twitter for PHP. Here's the source for PHP side, a very simple implementation:

<?php

require_once 'twitter-php/twitter.class.php';

//Twitter OAuth Settings, enter your settings here:
$CONSUMER_KEY = '...';
$CONSUMER_SECRET = '...';
$ACCESS_TOKEN = '...';
$ACCESS_TOKEN_SECRET = '...';

$twitter = new Twitter($CONSUMER_KEY, $CONSUMER_SECRET, $ACCESS_TOKEN, $ACCESS_TOKEN_SECRET);

// retrieve data
$q = $_POST['q'];
$count = $_POST['count'];
$api = $_POST['api'];

// api data
$params = array(
	'screen_name' => $q,
	'q' => $q,
	'count' => 20,
  'includes_rts' => true
);

$results = $twitter->request($api, 'GET', $params);

// output as JSON
echo json_encode($results);
?>

Conclusion

No doubt, twitter is one of the hottest social media, so I hope this tutorial will able to help you to display your own tweets in your website. If you like it, please help me to spread it :) Thanks!

Demo Download
Join the discussion

Comments will be moderated and rel="nofollow" will be added to all links. You can wrap your coding with [code][/code] to make use of built-in syntax highlighter.

136 comments
Ian 6 years ago
Will you still be able to do this with the new Twitter API 1.1 version?
Reply
Kevin Liew Admin 6 years ago
I doubt it, apparently it needs key and authentication. I will have a look.
Reply
Reid 6 years ago
Can I pull someone else's twitter feed into my site?
Reply
Paulie 6 years ago
Hi, great code, wondering if you can help modify it a bit, where you have appendTo: '#jstwitter', is there a way to do appendTo: '#jstwitterA', appendTo: '#jstwitterB', so i can display the next tweet in a new div?
Reply
Joe 6 years ago
How can I put time indicator onto the same line as the link?

For example (now):
Tweet content
URL
Time

After:
Tweet content - URL - time

Thanks
Reply
Brie 6 years ago
Ok, so I have never used jquery or javascript before....where do I put the javascript?! In the html or on its own page?!
Reply
Nat4an 6 years ago
Great tutorial! I love it! I will learn to work with this and implement it into my portfolio/website. Thanks again!
Reply
Alex 6 years ago
This is the answer to my prayers! I kept on trying to edit another version from somewhere else, but this is exactly what I need. Thanks!
Reply
Andreas 6 years ago
I love the script... I'm trying to figure out how to post on my website two twitter feeds from two users... any chance you can help me?
Reply
Kaplan 6 years ago
Thanks for sharing this script! I even managed to work in the Reply, Retweet and Favorite without going crazy, using Twitter Web Intents (which seems easier to use than the sunsetting @Anywhere.
Reply
AndrejT 6 years ago
Can you share that code (incl. Reply, Retweet...) with us (or at least send it to my email). Thanks!
Reply
Dan 6 years ago
I am very interested to find out how to implement the Reply, Retweet, and Favorite buttons into this type of a feed. Is there any way we could get some help with that please? Thank you.
Reply
matthew 6 years ago
Just a quick note to say it worked first time, muchos love to you.
Reply
Neil White 6 years ago
Dude, I have been pulling my hair out for hours upon hours. You have solved my problem and I can proudly display your work here on my homepage http://www.midlandsonlinemedia.com/
Reply
dmh 6 years ago
I just used this method to fix the twitter feed for my webcomic - http://amongthechosen.com/ - and it works like a charm!
Reply
Paul 6 years ago
I fumbled around for awhile but I got it to work. On my desktop (which is running XP) I noticed that the time tag displayed incorrectly when I pulled up my site in IE8, FireFox, and Chrome. It works fine on my laptop (which is running Win7). Can you help?
Reply